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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Michael Senske: Energy investment will keep region attractive to business

Access to affordable energy drives many business decisions. Whether you operate an advanced manufacturing plant, a health care facility, a large office complex or a biotech company, energy represents a significant overall cost of doing business. Affordable power is an important consideration for companies choosing to relocate, and the low cost of energy in the Spokane region represents a significant economic development advantage for our community. It’s also a contributing factor to our region’s low cost of living, which benefits individuals and families who relocate here.

Notice of power shutoffs no longer a job for utility staff in Idaho

Idaho residents who are about to get their power shut off for delinquent payments no longer have to be notified by a utility employee knocking on their door. The state’s “knock rule” required utility employees to try to talk to customers in person 24 hours prior to the shutoff, giving them a chance to pay up and avoid the disconnection.

Homeowners ‘back-billed’ $3K due to utility’s faulty equipment

“You may have noticed that your Vera bill has been lower recently or over the past several years,” read a letter sent to Jeff and Diane Kipp last month from their electric provider, Vera Water & Power. They hadn’t, Diane Kipp said. But no matter – the letter went on to tell the Spokane Valley couple that they owe $3,140.85 for electricity used, but under-billed by Vera.

Avista requests slight rate changes

Avista Utilities is asking for a slight decrease in electric rates and a slight increase in natural gas rates for its Washington customers, citing changing power costs. The Spokane-based utility asked the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to approve the rate adjustments effective Nov. 1.

Avista proposes rate increase and decrease

Avista Utilities is asking for a slight decrease in electric rates and a slight increase in natural gas rates for its Washington customers, citing changing power costs.

Avista reaches deal on Idaho rates

Avista Utilities has reached a settlement to keep its base rates for Idaho customers unchanged through the end of 2015. The settlement, which still requires approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, was worked out after Avista announced in March that it would seek a rate hike for its electric and natural gas customers in Idaho. After informal talks, the Spokane-based utility proposed a one-year extension of the rate plan.

The Rock Doc: Kitchen stoves offer a lesson in carbon control

My elderly aunt recently came into some money. She decided – very generously – to send part of it to each of her nieces and nephews. This gave me the task of choosing how I wanted to spend an unexpected $1,000. I decided to buy a new range for my kitchen. I wouldn’t otherwise buy a new appliance, and by spending the money on a range I will be able to remember my aunt and bless her name each night as I cook supper. My old range was electric. The oven was slow and the burners were problematic. I replaced all the burners but still had unpredictable and inconsistent heating. I grew up with a natural gas cook stove, so decided to buy one for my house. I like gas because you can see when it’s on, because it cuts off instantly, and because I think of natural gas as a pretty clean fuel we can get from domestic sources.

Avista requests increase in power, gas rates

It’s not news utility customers ever like to hear, especially not on one of the coldest days of the year. Yet Avista Corp. said Tuesday it wants to raise power and natural gas rates in Washington next winter, including a big jump in the basic charge for each service.

Clark: Answers at the Reddy on latest from Avista

Hello and welcome to another installment of Ask Reddy Kilowatt. The iconic former power company mascot, with his red lightning-bolt body and light bulb nose, has agreed to come back and answer more of your burning questions about Avista’s latest attempt to put all of us in the poorhouse.

Avista absorbs hit as generator fails

A generator failure at a Montana coal plant will force Avista Corp. to buy about $12 million worth of replacement electricity this year. The Spokane-based utility owns a 15 percent interest in two units at the Colstrip generating plant located east of Billings. One of the units’ generators broke down July 1, and repairs could take six months to complete, said Thomas Dempsey, Avista’s manager of generation and joint projects.

Avista eyes small electric rate increase

Avista’s Washington customers could see a small hike in their electric rates on Aug. 1, as a result of a proposed change in a surcharge that funds energy efficiency rebates for customers.

Idaho PUC staff supports Avista’s proposal to hike rates

Avista Corp. would raise electricity and natural gas rates this year in Idaho under a new agreement under consideration by utility regulators. The company utility has 123,000 electricity and 75,000 natural gas customers in North Idaho.

Avista rates to rise next week

Avista Corp. will raise electric and gas rates in Washington in the new year and again in 2014 under an agreement with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Following months of negotiations between the Spokane-based utility and state regulators, Avista customers will pay 2 percent more for electricity and 3.7 percent more for natural gas beginning next Tuesday, New Year’s Day.

Update of power grid in Inland Northwest has begun

With the push of a button on their smartphones, Inland Northwest residents will soon have a way to adjust their thermostats and their electric bills. In Pullman, a $38 million demonstration project will upgrade the aging power grid, saving energy and providing Avista customers with several new features intended to increase communication between customers and the power company.